Game Preview: Washington State


by: Griffin Bennett

It hasn’t been a pretty year for either team so far. Both the Huskies and the Cougars are suffering for postpartum depression after their stars from last season have left and they are each struggling to find their new identities. This is a huge game for both teams as each needs to prove that they can have some sort of consistency other than consistently inconsistent. The Huskies can’t afford to drop a conference home win at this juncture, especially to a poor Cougar team, if they want to keep their conference title hopes off of life support.

The Cougs are 1-3 in the Pac-12 and 9-7 overall this year. Their loss to Oregon was quite bad while the overtime loss to the pre-season #12 team Utah was a crushing blow.

The problem with Cougs has been their defense during conference play. They are last in the conference in opponents FG% with 51.9% as well as second to last in points allowed per game at 75.2. They miss Casto down low as a very good shot blocker and defender and it’s really showing.

Ken Bone‘s 2011/12 squad is led by Brock Motum who is leading their team in points (15.3) and rebounds (6.4). While he’s the Coug that we all love to tease, he’s a very effective player who plays extremely hard. He’s a poor man’s Jon Brockman. He will be a tough match up for our forwards as at 6-10 he is too quick for Aziz to handle.

Next up is the three-headed guard monster that is Faisal Aden, DaVonte Lacy, and Reggie Moore. Shockingly, Aden does not lead this team in three point attemps as the freshman Lacy has shot 23 more this season. Still, Aden leads this trio in points (12.8) while the enigma that is Moore leads the team in assists (5.4). Moore is shooting less than 40% this season and hasn’t blossomed into the star that he seemed destined for during his freshman year.

Charlie Enquist, Marcus Capers, and Abe Lodwick are the other forward options with Enquist starting opposite of Motum and Capers being their starting small forward option. They aren’t the deepest team down low so getting this team running is always a great strategy.

Projected Starters:


G – DaVonte Lacy – 6’3

G – Reggie Moore – 6’1

G/F – Marcus Capers – 6’4

F – Charlie Enquist – 6’10

F – Brock Motum – 6’10


G – Abdul Gaddy – 6’3

G – Tony Wroten – 6’5

G – Terrence Ross – 6’5

F – Desmond Simmons – 6’7

C – Aziz N’diaye – 7’0

Keys to the Game:

  • Off-ball Movement – The Huskies need to get better at guarding off of the ball on defense and moving away from the ball on offense. This young squad gets caught “watching” far too often and it leads to easy baskets that are far too easy.
  • Post Defense – Defending Motum will be huge in this game. The Huskies are going to have to be ready with the help defense and not be afraid to foul him hard. The Huskies give up way too many points in the paint and Aziz is just too slow to be the solution. Gant, Simmons, everyone needs to be quick to help down there.
  • Pass the ball – I know it sounds crazy, but passing the ball helps you score points. Throw it around the horn and find the best shot possible. Don’t let it get stagnate or else the clogged toilet offense appears.


This year’s version of the Apple Cup is not like it was with Lowe, Weaver, Brockman, Pondexter, and the rest. These two squads are under performing but that doesn’t mean that earning a win is any less important.

It’s the Cougs. The effing Cougs. Let’s smash ’em. I’d like the Huskies to show some emotion that’s on par with this rivalry. I don’t want to seem them give an inch. Let’s embarrass this Cougar team and leave them at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, where they belong.

With that said, predicting how this Husky team will perform is harder to do than get a Cougar to admit they got rejected from UW first. I’m eerily confident that the added pressure of the rivalry game mixed with the home atmosphere will help the Huskies perform like they did in New York.

Barring Tony Wroten not being able to play, or is ineffective, due to his tail bone bruise on Tuesday, I see the Huskies pulling out a decisive victory.

 UW 89, WSU 74. For your enjoyment…

Bow down.